Architects in the Archives – Ralph Anderson, Jr. (1923-1990)

Ralph Anderson Jr. in Army uniform

Ralph Anderson, Jr. was a native Houstonian, and graduated in 1943 with a B. A. in Architecture and in 1947 with a B. S. in Architecture, both from the Rice Institute. While at Rice, he won The American Institute of Architecture Student Medal, and was the first architectural student at the university to be elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He began his practice early, designing several homes on the east side of Houston which were built before he achieved his first degree; you can see pictures of a couple of these homes here in the Rice History Corner.

After being inducted into the Army in 1943, he was sent to Harvard University. Upon completion of an Advanced Studies Program, he went to France where he served in the European Theatre of Operations. As a result of a head wound received at the Battle of the Bulge, he was awarded both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. Like so many in his generation, his service in the war remained very important to him; six boxes of his collection are related to his service in World War II. Anderson later wrote a military history and designed spaces for military veterans, including a war memorial, a service men’s center, and a rest camp for veterans.

Drawings of proposed War Memorial (undated) and proposed School of Architecture at the Rice Institute (1947)

More about Anderson’s architectural practice, his many architectural awards, his activities as an artist, lecturer, and writer, can be found in the Ralph Anderson Jr. papers.

 

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